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Industrial Accidents

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October 10, 2013 | By Richard Simon
WASHINGTON - Federal authorities have cited the operator of the West, Texas, fertilizer plant that exploded in April for 24 safety violations including the unsafe handling and storage of chemicals, and have  proposed $118,300 in penalties. In the meantime, a broader investigation into the cause of the April 17 blast that killed 15 people and injured more than 160 others has been put on hold as a result of the government shutdown. Sen. Barbara Boxer  (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, announced the Occupational Health and Safety Administration citations on Thursday against Adair Grain Inc., which operated West Fertilizer Co. West, Texas, explosion: Before and after Boxer said the fines should serve as a warning to other plant operators to follow safety rules.
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NATIONAL
October 10, 2013 | By Richard Simon
WASHINGTON - Federal authorities have cited the operator of the West, Texas, fertilizer plant that exploded in April for 24 safety violations including the unsafe handling and storage of chemicals, and have  proposed $118,300 in penalties. In the meantime, a broader investigation into the cause of the April 17 blast that killed 15 people and injured more than 160 others has been put on hold as a result of the government shutdown. Sen. Barbara Boxer  (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, announced the Occupational Health and Safety Administration citations on Thursday against Adair Grain Inc., which operated West Fertilizer Co. West, Texas, explosion: Before and after Boxer said the fines should serve as a warning to other plant operators to follow safety rules.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 2004 | William Wan, Times Staff Writer
When the medical helicopter arrived at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center last month, the patient inside was barely breathing, and doctors held little hope for him. Construction worker Isidro Mejia had six nails in his head, including three embedded in his brain, one in his spinal column and one in his face. While working at an Antelope Valley job site, Mejia, 39, stumbled on scaffolding and fell onto a co-worker who was using a nail gun, witnesses told authorities.
NATIONAL
July 3, 2013 | By Evan Halper
As investigators swarm the former gold-mining town of Yarnell, Ariz., to examine the fateful decisions leading up to the deaths of 19 firefighters from the Granite Mountain hotshots, their presence is unlikely to ease tensions among the survivors. More than a decade ago, a similar blaze whipped through a canyon 30 miles north of Winthrop, Wash. Four firefighters died in circumstances eerily similar to those at Yarnell, killed in their emergency shelters as a fast-moving fire burned over them.
NEWS
July 11, 1987 | BARRY M. HORSTMAN, Times Staff Writer
Six civilian shipyard workers were killed and six others injured, one of them critically, when a crane-operated steel basket carrying the men plunged nearly 30 feet onto the deck of a U.S. Navy ship early Friday morning. The accident, the worst in the history of the National Steel & Shipbuilding Co.
NEWS
April 4, 1991 | THOMAS H. MAUGH II, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
Left-handers tend to die, on average, about nine years earlier than right-handers, according to a surprising and controversial new study published today by California and Canadian researchers. In analyzing data on nearly 1,000 deaths in San Bernardino and Riverside counties over a period of several months, two psychologists found that male and female left-handers were much more likely to die as a result of industrial and vehicular accidents, and somewhat more likely to die from other causes.
WORLD
November 15, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
An elevator in a tower block under construction in eastern China plunged more than 20 stories, killing six workers and severely injuring 10, the official New China News Agency reported. The accident, the latest in a string of industrial accidents across the country, happened at nearly completed flats in Wuxi City in coastal Jiangsu province, the agency said. Workers had entered the elevator around noon.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 7, 1999 | CATHERINE BLAKE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A 45-year-old Moorpark man and an 18-year-old laborer from Minnesota were killed Wednesday morning in unrelated industrial accidents within two miles of each other. Jaime Roman, a father of two from Moorpark, was crushed under an 11,000-pound bundle of lumber at 10:40 a.m. after trying to assist a crew at Hagle Lumber Co. in Camarillo with rearranging a load on the back of a flatbed trailer. The other man, Nolan Keane, who lived in St. Paul, Minn.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 5, 2002 | JEAN GUCCIONE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A retired Rocketdyne mechanic testified Friday that he and four others were disposing of waste materials at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory near Chatsworth in 1994 when an explosion killed two veteran scientists. Lee Wells, 70, of Newbury Park said he watched chemical engineer Otto K. Heiney pour a liquid into an aluminum box as he prepared to burn the chemical mixture at a secluded outdoor test site.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 6, 1986 | SAU YING CHU, Times Staff Writer
A National Steel & Shipbuilding Co. worker was killed Tuesday morning when a piece of lumber fell 50 feet and struck his head, officials said. Guillermo Prado, 37, had been removing scaffolding inside a storage tank aboard the tanker Exxon Valdez when a 2-by-4 that was 12 to 14 feet long came loose from a bundle being lifted out by a crane, said Fred Hallett, Nassco vice president of finance and corporate relations. The piece of wood was part of the scaffold being disassembled.
NEWS
June 28, 2013 | By Susan Denley
Matthew Morrison -- a.k.a. hunky Mr. Schue on "Glee" -- has presented an engagement ring to his girlfriend of about two years, model  Renee Puente. The engagement was announced Thursday night by none other than Elton John, assisted by partner David Furnish, from the stage at the White Tie and Tiara Ball in London, E! reports. Then Chris Martin of Coldplay joined John to serenade the couple with "This is Your Song. " [E Online] "I'm going to marry my best friend," the truly gleeful Morrison tweeted Friday morning.
NATIONAL
April 24, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian and Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times
WEST, Texas - A week after a fertilizer plant explosion killed 14 residents, injured more than 150 others and leveled scores of homes, one emotion is notably absent here among citizens and officials alike: outrage. "Water under the bridge," said Steve Vanek, West's mayor pro-tem, referring to decisions that allowed homes and schools to be built near the plant. "It was an accident, and accidents do happen," said Jean Smith, 66, whose home lost most of its roof and sustained structural damage.
NATIONAL
April 18, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian, Neela Banerjee and Ricardo Lopez, Los Angeles Times
The blast at a West, Texas, fertilizer plant on Wednesday night was so massive that investigators believe it probably involved a significant amount of ammonium nitrate, a chemical that some scientists say should be regulated as an explosive. In a report filed with the Texas Department of State Health Services on Feb. 26, West Fertilizer Co. said that it had up to 270 tons of ammonium nitrate at its facility, along with up to 100,000 pounds of liquid ammonia. The exact amounts on hand at the plant are not yet known, officials said.
WORLD
July 29, 2010 | By Lily Kuo and Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times
A powerful explosion caused by a broken gas pipeline killed at least 12 people Wednesday, injured about 300 and flattened hundreds of buildings in eastern China in the latest in a series of troubling industrial accidents. The blast occurred at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday at a plastics factory in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province. State news media reported that the explosion occurred when workers at the factory dug into a nearby propylene pipeline. The blast was so strong that many residents mistook it for an earthquake.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2010 | By Kim Christensen
A year before a UCLA staff research assistant was fatally burned in a lab fire, a graduate student was seriously injured in a similar accident that university officials failed to report to state regulators, records released Friday show. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health this week fined UCLA $23,900 for the earlier incident, which occurred in November 2007 -- 13 months before Sheharbano "Sheri" Sangji suffered burns that took her life and prompted a campuswide review of lab safety.
WORLD
December 3, 2009 | By Mark Magnier
Bhopal residents are still angry with Union Carbide, owner of the chemical plant that 25 years ago today released a poisonous gas cloud that killed more than 15,000 people and injured hundreds of thousands in what's been termed the world's worst industrial accident. Residents are also angry with Dow Chemical Co., which acquired Union Carbide Corp. in 2001 and washed its hands of any inherited responsibility. But many are at least as angry with their own government, which settled with the rich foreigners for what they say was a ridiculously low sum and has since failed to care for its people.
NEWS
June 28, 2013 | By Susan Denley
Matthew Morrison -- a.k.a. hunky Mr. Schue on "Glee" -- has presented an engagement ring to his girlfriend of about two years, model  Renee Puente. The engagement was announced Thursday night by none other than Elton John, assisted by partner David Furnish, from the stage at the White Tie and Tiara Ball in London, E! reports. Then Chris Martin of Coldplay joined John to serenade the couple with "This is Your Song. " [E Online] "I'm going to marry my best friend," the truly gleeful Morrison tweeted Friday morning.
NEWS
July 29, 1988 | GEORGE RAMOS, Times Staff Writer
A class-action lawsuit was filed Thursday to end California's 200,000-case backlog of workers' compensation claims. So great is the backlog that the state Department of Industrial Relations measures unprocessed claims in terms of linear feet. At last count in March, there were 384 feet of unprocessed claims, 152 of which were recorded in the Los Angeles office. The suit said two other offices with large backlogs are Van Nuys, with 78 feet of unprocessed claims, and Santa Ana, with 66-plus feet.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 22, 2009 | Kim Christensen
State regulators performed a shoddy investigation and let UCLA off too lightly for violations stemming from a chemistry lab fire that killed a staff research assistant, the victim's family contends in papers filed with Cal-OSHA and the Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board. Sheri Sangji, 23, suffered severe burns over 43% of her body when an experiment with air-sensitive chemicals burst into flame Dec. 29 and ignited her clothing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2009 | Mike Anton
Two men were killed and two others injured when an industrial-sized electric water heater exploded in a Rancho Santa Margarita plastics factory. The blast at about 11:40 p.m. Thursday was of such force that it shot the water heater through the roof of the south Orange County facility. It then came crashing down inside the building. Killed were Isidro Echeverria, 34, of Oceanside and Jose Jimenez, 51, of Garden Grove.
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